Exploring the foodshed concept with organic growers in Ontario

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Bennett, Corey
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an exploration of the "foodshed" concept from the literature, and from a survey of organic producers. The underlying assumptions and processes of the global food system are reviewed, and suggest that it is unsustainable. In contrast, the foodshed helps redefine the spatial aspects of where our food comes from, directing us to closer food sources with several guiding normative principles. This thesis empirically tests the foodshed concept with a sample of Ontario's organic growers to indicate its potential and acceptance. The methodology used was a participatory and cyclical dialectic leading to the emergence of a joint construction of evidence, drawing balance from both quantitative and qualitative data. It was concluded, that Ontario's organic growers support the foodshed as a beneficial structure for thought and action, and believe it would likely produce multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits. Implications for future planning and development of local communities and policy are suggested.

Ontario, Organic growers, Foodshed concept, Local communities, Global food system